Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Plans For Another Five Star Golf Resort...

It's not quite regular but there is still a trickle of announcements of new golf developments cropping up and of course the Trump one is the one that hits the headlines.

The latest is The Angus and the developer Mike Forbes was naturally keen to play it up: “This is a hugely positive decision for the community. Delivering the first five-star hotel and a championship golf facility – which will complement the famous Carnoustie links – bringing with it a massive cash injection for the local economy, was my focus when we first proposed this development.

“Tourism is vitally important to Scotland, and in Angus and Tayside we have to look at ways to ensure that we continue to attract not only overseas visitors but also people from throughout the UK.

“Golf continues to be a major draw for people worldwide and there is a real appetite to create world-class developments which will maintain Scotland’s position, not only as the home of the sport but also as the home of the finest courses.”

Now the statement has some merit for sure but some of the common statements that are rolled out should in all honesty start to be questioned.

Tourism is important to the economy of Scotland for sure and development can have positive local impacts but there is nothing to say that another five star golf resort will add new golf visitors to the country and it could probably be argued that is will have a negative effect on an increasingly crowded five star luxury sector that is failing to turn profits. Displacement is the most likely option with other resorts having to compete with increasing supply and flat demand.

There is little evidence emanating from any of our five star luxury product that making profit at the top end in tourism in Scotland is an easily profitable exercise - this can be seen in lower occupancy, massive room yield reductions, published losses, stalled refurbishments.

Okay it may not be opening for a few years but does the east coast, does Scotland, need let only can it justify two resort hotels less than an hour and a half apart competing with Gleneagles, Old Course, Fairmont and others?

I would have to say that the jury is out on whether Scotland needs or can sustain more golf and more accommodation.

When are we going to look more seriously at what over supply can do to your tourism sector?

Just look at Ireland...

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